At an antique show last weekend, a toy dealer had three fantastic vintage bowling games on display in his booth. I relieved him of two.
Made in the 1930s-40s by the Baldwin Mfg. Co. of Brooklyn, New York, "King Pin" and its smaller sibling, "King Pin Jr." bring all the fun of bowling to your table top, minus the stinky shoes.
King Pin is a whopping 37 inches long, with a tin litho lane, wooden pins, and a cast iron, spring loaded bowler, 4 inches tall. He really bowls, although not terribly well, as the long lane has suffered some dents and warping which tend to throw the ball off its course. This only makes it more challenging, I feel.
To play, you pull the bowler's freakishly ginormous hand back, place the ball in front of him, and let it go!
From this angle, he looks rather as if he's late for work and running for a bus...
Here's what he's aiming for: a set of wooden pins (and yes, there are a few missing. If you saw how these things go flying across the room when the ball whacks them, you'd be amazed there are any left):
King Pin Jr. is a bit more manageable, at 19 inches long. Completely made of tin litho, it features a very dapper bowler, just 3 inches tall.
Isn't he cute? I love his vintage bowling shoes...